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Why are they so good?

As many of my clients and acquaintances will know, I am the world's biggest fan of deadlifts! They are quite simply the best exercise around, nothing truly tests your mental and physical strength quite like the deadlift.

On this note, I have decided to highlight some of the key benefits to this beast of an exercise and some key teaching points to maximise the exercise.

Key benefits:

. Core strength - that doesn't just mean abs guys and gals! We are on about hips, glutes (bum), abs and lower back.

. Functional strength - the term functional is used far too often in exercise but actually relates to the deadlift, how many times do we pick something up from the floor.

. Muscle mass - lifting heavy will create additional mass or strength to a person's physique

. Trains the whole body - anyone who hasn't warmed up enough will vouch how risky and dangerous the deadlift can be. Muscles you didn't think would even be involved are tested so make sure you warm up sufficiently.

Big teaching points:

. The deadlift is not called 'slightlymovinglift' - this means the weight has to be stationary when lifting

. The deadlift is a pull exercise, not a press exercise - if you try and leg press out of the exercise you will ignore the back of your body (posterior) which is the primary target

. Each lift should be treated like the first and last deadlift - take time to set up correct form on each repetition

. Take the slack - don't bounce the weight up! Take some of the resistance off the weight before lifting

. Pull the floor apart with your feet - wear flat shoes with plenty of grip and pull the floor apart with your feet throughout the exercise. This will ensure your glutes are working throughout.

. Keep hands next to hip - the closer your grip the stronger and more stable you are

. Engage the lats - either imagine you are holding a newspaper under your armpit or bending the bar towards you. Not engaging the upper back will sacrifice your body positioning and strength

. Embrace the core and keep a neutral spine - having a strong core is essential to transfer efficient power through the movement.

Most of all - have fun with it! Deadlift will provide motivating increases in weight so enjoy the exercise and take your time to master the exercise.

Be your best!

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